Late Nights at The Rex: Keith Barstow Group
As far as mottos go, The Rex Hotel Jazz and Blues Bar prefers to keep it simple. “More Great Jazz than anywhere else, all the time!” is their commitment. They honour it very well, and especially now as we return to a world of late-night drinks and live jazz. Having just reopened, The Rex has caught the attention of many a music lover yearning for a night of musical whimsy. And they’ve prepared well for it, too: the unmistakable venue has invested in all the modern equipment necessary. Their stage boasts floor-to-ceiling glass walls to ensure a barrier between musician and audience, and they are certainly taking full advantage of the outdoor patio craze of summer 2021.
On Monday, July 26, the kicked off the week with some smooth live tunes. With Keith on the drums, Ian on the horns, and David on the bass, they were the quintessential jazz trio, perfect to sip summer cocktails along to. They met at U of T and have been making music together ever since. All three seemed thrilled to finally be back in the music scene, and their fervour was clear in their performance. In fact, I daresay their stage presence as group easily made up for the plastic barriers separating them from the audience. They have little social media presence and tend not to advertise much, claiming they really do it for the love of music. This love of music may be all the advertising they need, because we sincerely recommend you go check out the Keith Barstow group next time they play The Rex.
story by Tara Smylie, pic by paul murton